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Pay & Leave Pay Administration

Fact Sheet: Simultaneous Pay Actions

Description

Simultaneous pay actions occur when multiple pay actions with the same effective date affect an employee's rate of basic pay.

Order of Processing Simultaneous Pay Actions

For General Schedule employees, simultaneous pay actions are processed in the following order:

  1. Process general pay adjustments before any individual pay action that takes effect at the same time. General pay adjustments include an annual adjustment in the General Schedule under 5 U.S.C. 5303; an adjustment in LEO special base rates; an adjustment of a locality pay percentage under 5 U.S.C. 5304 and 5 CFR part 531, subpart F; the establishment or adjustment of a special rate schedule under 5 CFR part 530, subpart C, or similar legal authority (e.g., 38 U.S.C. 7455); and an adjustment of a retained rate under 5 CFR 359.705 or 536.305 based on the establishment or adjustment of a pay schedule.
  2. Convert the employee's rate(s) of pay to reflect a change in the location of the employee's official worksite, if applicable. (See Geographic Conversion Rule below.)
  3. Process any within-grade increase or quality step increase to which the employee is entitled under 5 CFR 531, subpart D or E.
  4. Process any promotion action using the rates of pay and rate ranges in the sequence prescribed in 5 CFR 531.214.
  5. Process remaining individual pay actions (see 5 CFR 531.213) that take effect at the same time in the order that gives the employee the maximum benefit.

Geographic Conversion Rule

When an employee's official worksite is changed to a new location upon a pay-setting action where different pay schedules apply, the agency must convert the employee to the applicable pay schedule(s) and rate(s) of basic pay for the new official worksite based on the employee's position of record (including grade) and step (or a GM employee's GS rate) before processing any simultaneous pay actions. No simultaneous change in an employee's position of record (including grade, occupational series, agency, law enforcement officer status, and any other element that affects coverage under a pay schedule, other than the official worksite) is considered until after the geographic conversion. The only exception is for a general pay adjustment, which is processed prior to a geographic conversion. Set the employee's rate(s) of basic pay in the applicable pay schedule(s) in the new location based on his or her position of record (including grade) and step (or a GM employee's GS rate) immediately before the change in the employee's official worksite. The resulting rate must be used as the existing rate in applying the next simultaneous pay action, following the Order of Processing Simultaneous Pay Actions. For example, geographic conversion must be processed before applying the rules for promotion or pay retention. A reduction in an employee's payable rate of basic pay as a result of a geographic conversion is not a basis for pay retention, even if the move is involuntary. (See Promotion Examples and Grade and Pay Retention Examples for examples of geographic conversions.) In conjunction with any simultaneous pay actions, the employee's rate(s) of basic pay will then be set based on the employee's new position of record and new official worksite.

If a change in an employee's official worksite does not involve a change in grade or the application of pay retention or the maximum payable rate rule, the geographic conversion must be applied, but it may be applied as a simple one-step procedure. The employee's pay can be set directly in the pay schedules for the new location based on the employee's new position of record and existing step within the grade (or GM employee's GS rate). It is not necessary to first set pay in the new location based on the employee's former position of record. (See 5 CFR 531.213, which addresses lateral movements, including lateral movements that involve a change in official worksite.) See examples below:

  1. Special Rate to Non-Special Rate
    In 2005, a GS-1529-11, step 5, mathematical statistician stationed in Washington, DC, and covered by special rate table 0032 ($67,165) moves to a GS-1529-11, step 5, mathematical statistician position in the Pittsburgh locality pay area, which is not covered by a special rate table. As provided in 5 CFR 531.213, the employee's payable rate is set at GS-1529-11, step 5, on the Pittsburgh locality pay table ($57,864).
  2. Non-Special Rate to Special Rate
    In 2005, a GS-0343-7, step 1, management analyst stationed in the Philadelphia locality pay area ($35,663) transfers to a GS-0083-7, step 1, police officer position in New York, which is covered by special rate table 983E. As provided in 5 CFR 531.213, the employee's payable rate is set at GS-0083-7, step 1, on special rate table 983E ($44,322).
  3. Locality Rate to Hybrid Range (e.g., special rate at lower steps and locality rate at higher steps)
    In 2005, a GS-0648-11, step 2, therapeutic radiologic technologist stationed in the Philadelphia locality pay area ($54,540) voluntarily moves to a GS-11, step 2, therapeutic radiologic technologist position in the Washington, DC, locality pay area, which is covered by special rate table 0360. Table 0360 contains a hybrid range at GS-11. Steps 1 and 2 are covered by the special rate, but steps 3 through 10 are covered by the Washington, DC, locality pay table. The agency does not use the maximum payable rate rule to set pay. As provided in 5 CFR 531.213, the employee's payable rate is set at GS-0648-11, step 2, on special rate table 0360 ($54,287).

Key Terms

LEO special base rate means a special base rate established for GS law enforcement officers at grades GS-3 through GS-10 under section 403 of the Federal Employees Pay Comparability Act of 1990 (section 529 of Public Law 101-509, November 5, 1990, as amended).

Official worksite means the official location of an employee's position of record, as determined under 5 CFR 531.605.

Payable rate means the highest rate of basic pay to which an employee is entitled based on the employee's position of record, official worksite, and step (or relative position in range for a GM employee) or, if applicable, a retained rate.

Pay schedule means a set of rate ranges established for GS employees under a single authority-i.e., the General Schedule, an LEO special base rate schedule (for grades GS-3 through 10), a locality rate schedule based on GS rates, a locality rate schedule based on LEO special base rates (for grades GS-3 through 10), or a special rate schedule. A pay schedule applies to or covers a defined category of employees based on established coverage conditions (e.g., official worksite, occupation). A pay schedule is considered to apply to or cover an employee who meets the established coverage conditions even when a rate under that schedule is not currently payable to the employee because of a higher pay entitlement under another pay schedule.

Position of record means an employee's official position (defined by grade, occupational series, employing agency, LEO status, and any other condition that determines coverage under a pay schedule (other than official worksite)), as documented on the employee's most recent Notification of Personnel Action (Standard Form 50 or equivalent) and current position description. A position to which an employee is temporarily detailed is not documented as a position of record.

Rate of basic pay (for the purpose of basic pay administration) means the rate fixed by law or administrative action for the position held by a GS employee before deductions. A "rate of basic pay" includes a GS rate under 5 U.S.C. 5332, an LEO special base rate, a special rate under 5 U.S.C. 5305 or similar authority (e.g., 38 U.S.C. 7455), a locality rate under 5 U.S.C. 5304, or a retained rate under 5 U.S.C. 3594 or 5363.

Where different pay schedules apply means that an employee's official worksite is changed to a new location that would cause the employee to lose or gain coverage under a location-based pay schedule (i.e., a locality rate schedule or a special rate schedule) if the employee were to remain in the same position of record.

References

  • 5 U.S.C. 5305(i), 5334(g), and 5363(c)
  • 5 CFR 530.321, 531.203 - 531.207, 531.213 - 215, 531.242 - 243, 536.206(d), and 536.304(a)
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